2024 Forum on Tranformational Leadership


Forum participants will have access to plenary sessions presented in partnership with the 2024 Conference on General Education, Pedagogy, and Assessment, as well as joint networking opportunities, and additional concurrent sessions. Forum participants will also have access to exclusive workshops focused on courageous leadership in higher education.

Thursday, April 11, 2024 /

Transformative Leadership for Challenging Times

This session will introduce several New Leadership Academy tools for leaders and utilize vignettes and small group discussions to apply these tools to real-world case studies in higher education and policymaking.

  • Presenter: Amy Fulton

    Director, New Leadership Academy

    Amy Fulton’s research interests include organizational leadership in higher education, student social movements, and issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education. Prior to her role as director, Amy served for five years as a senior graduate student researcher for the New Leadership Academy. The New Leadership Academy, previously hosted by the National Forum on the Public Good at the University of Michigan and now housed at the University of Utah, is a unique nationally recognized leadership development philosophy and program that prepares leaders with the knowledge, tools, and courage to meet the complex challenges associated with equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education and beyond.

  • Presenter: John Burkhardt

    Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan

    John Burkhardt is professor emeritus of education at the University of Michigan, continuing in his teaching and research about leadership in colleges and universities. At the University of Michigan, John founded and directed the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good from 2000-2023 and directed the National Center for Institutional Diversity from 2013-2016. Previously, John led work in leadership development at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for nearly a decade and was a senior administrator at several public and private universities.

  • Presenter: Betty Overton-Adkins

    Faculty, Ethical & Creative Leadership, Union Institute & University

    Betty Overton-Adkins’ research centers on issues of organizational management in higher education, minority serving institutions, women in higher education, and diversity and inclusion. While a professor of clinical practice at the University of Michigan, she directed the National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good. Betty previously served as academic vice president and provost at Spring Arbor University, as program director for higher education at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and as a faculty member at various community and technical colleges, liberal arts colleges, HBCUs, online graduate institutions, and a major research university. She also has been active in higher education accreditation issues, serving as chair of the Higher Learning Commission for the North Central Accrediting Agency.

Thursday, April 11, 2024 /

Bringing Change Agency to Institutional Leadership Roles

Change is hard, and changing an organization or institution is even harder. This session will consider how leaders can act as agents of change in higher education who prioritize centering equity in their leadership, policies, practices, and everyday behaviors.

  • Mary Ann Villarreal

    Presenter: Mary Ann Villarreal

    Vice President for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, University of Utah

    Mary Ann Villarreal aims to foster a shared commitment to cultural transformation in practice, policy, and processes at the university and in higher education. As the inaugural vice president for equity, diversity, and inclusion at the University of Utah, she provides leadership and strategic oversight of diversity and inclusion initiatives across the university’s academic and health sciences campuses. This opportunity unites her extensive experience in higher education and her passion for social justice in leading the university on its journey to becoming an anti-racist community. Since her arrival in 2019, Villarreal has been steadfast in growing the division to meet the needs of the university through innovative and impactful programs.

Saturday, April 13, 2024 /

Preparing for the Next Stage of Your Career

This session is designed to provide participants with tools and strategies to think critically about what a suitable next step in their careers may be and to reflect upon what experiences may be needed to prepare for future opportunities. Participants will reflect upon their professional goals, take stock of their individual competencies and values, and commit to becoming intentional, rather than accidental, leaders.

  • Maya Kirkhope

    Presenter: Maya Ranchod Kirkhope

    Vice President, Senior Consultant, and Senior Executive Coach at Academic Search

    Academic Search is committed to identifying and developing leaders by providing the highest level of executive search to higher education partners. Maya Ranchod Kirkhope has over 17 years of experience as a search consultant. Her understanding of higher education governance is unparalleled in the consulting realm. Although she primarily specializes in presidential searches, she enjoys performing searches for all positions and immerses herself in the recruiting process. She is also a Gallup-certified executive coach whose career is dedicated to improving the inner workings of executive cabinets. Maya has been active in leadership development initiatives and has worked on various projects supporting women advancing to executive-level positions.